News / Middle East

    Lavrov: Syria May Allow Humanitarian Aid to Damascus Suburbs

    US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, walks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, and U.N-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, center, before the start of their joint news at the US Ambassador's residence in Paris, France, Jan. 13, 2014.
    US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, walks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, and U.N-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, center, before the start of their joint news at the US Ambassador's residence in Paris, France, Jan. 13, 2014.
    VOA News
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the Syrian government may allow humanitarian aid into some besieged Damascus suburbs.

    Lavrov on Monday said the Syrian government hopes it can reach agreement with the opposition to get help to civilians in East Ghuta and Yarmouk, as well as the Aleppo suburb of Baza'a.

    Some parts of Syria have been without outside help for a year.

    Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met in Paris Monday to plan the January 22 Syrian peace talks in Geneva.

    Kerry said he and Lavrov discussed a couple of areas that he said could set the stage for success in Geneva. They include a possible cease-fire in Aleppo and a prisoner exchange.

    But the two have not yet decided whether to invite Iran to the talks.

    International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said Iran is a very important country in the region and should be there.

    Russia also wants Iran at the talks. But the United States has said Iran must support a transitional government in Syria, which likely would exclude President Bashar al-Assad.

    The stated goal of the Geneva 2 conference is to negotiate a transitional government for Syria.

    Assad's government has said it will attend, while the main opposition Syrian National Coalition says it will decide by the end of the week whether it will participate in the talks. Kerry said Sunday he is confident the opposition will attend.


    Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

    • Fighters from the Free Syrian Army's Saif al-Umayyad brigade prepare rockets to be launched towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Jan. 16, 2014.
    • Men ride a motorbike past buildings damaged by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Daraya, Jan. 15, 2014.
    • Smoke rises from buildings after what activists said was shelling from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the besieged area of Homs, Jan. 15, 2014.
    • Free Syrian Army fighters walk at the Tameko pharmaceutical factory after the FSA claimed to have taken control of the factory, in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus, Jan. 14, 2014.
    • A girl carries her belongings as she walks on rubble at a site hit by what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Arbeen, Jan. 14, 2014.
    • This SANA photo shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaking to female preachers from mosques in Damascus and its countryside and educators of religious high schools and institutes in Damascus, Jan. 14, 2014.
    • Syrian refugees wait to enter Turkey on the Syrian-Turkish border in Shamm Alqrain village, Jan. 13, 2014.
    • Smoke rises from what activists said were explosive barrels thrown from helicopters on Daria outside Damascus, Jan. 12, 2014.
    • Damaged buildings are pictured in the besieged area of Homs, Jan. 12, 2014.
    • Residents inspect the damage caused by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant suicide bombers at the Tawhid Brigade and Al-Fateh brigade headquarters in Aleppo, Jan. 12, 2014.

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